Surfing England Junior Surf Series stop 1 Croyde Bay a great success

Surfing England Junior Surf Series 2022

Stop 1 ‘Croyde Bay’ 26th March- a great success

An epic day of surfing kickstarted the Surfing England ‘Junior Surf Series’ with the inaugural event delivered by the legendary Croyde Surf club.  Sunny skies and a super clean 1-2 foot set the back drop for an amazing day of surfing.

With lots of the groms new to surf comps it was fantastic to see the more experienced competitors and the crew from Croyde Surf Club sharing knowledge and new friendships being forged.  With 5 regional events in the Junior Surf Series and then a series finale there are going to be plenty of opportunities for our youngster to grow those surfing friendships as they develop and hone their competition skills.

As well creating more competitive opportunities for our juniors, the series also aims to help share expertise and contacts between our amazing surf clubs, helping to build capacity to deliver more events and comps in the future. 

Huge thanks to our series sponsors eola and Animal UK for their support and believing in the series. 

The event consisted of four categories: Under 12 Girls & Boys, and Under 14 Girls & Boys, using the International Surfing Association’s guidelines on age categories. Surfers were greeted with small but highly rip-able clean waves and the juniors showed amazing positive attitude and approach to their surfing, adapting to the conditions as the offshore wind stiffened and the tide started to hit some of Croyde famous banks.

In the under 14 girls’ event, Porthtowans Sunny Ingram took first with 5.27 points, taking over the lead towards the end of the final from Tynemouth’s Bethan Davies in second with 4.67 points. Harlyn Sykes took third with 3.83 points and Lilly Issberner fourth with 2.47 points.

In the Under 12 girl’s category another surfer from St Agnes, Hazel Bennett took first place with 3.83 points, Summer-Marie Moore in second with 2.93 points, Lila Skinner in third with 2.73 points and Bude’s Betsie Reay in fourth with 2.17 points.

In the Under 14 boy’s category Lukas Skinner surfed really well, taking first place with a total of 11.27 points, ahead of Newquay’s Heath Gillespie in second with 6.57 points, Reuben Joseph Wakely in third with 5.10 points and south coasts Sebastian Connolly in fourth place with 3.93 points.

The under 12 boys’ division was really hotly contested, and St Agnes surfer Joshi James earning first place with 8.53 points, Wilbur Prisk in second with 5.70 points. George Moy was the only North-Devon based surfer to make the finals – and came third with 2.67 points, followed by Harvey James Waters in fourth with 2.46 points. Rafael French, from Braunton also participated in his first-ever competition. He was ranked third best in heat 3 of the quarterfinal.

The presentation was held in bright sunshine, and all the finalists received lovely mementos of the day as well as clothing from Animal, Croyde surf club and sunglasses from Eola. A great end to a really fun day.

Event two in the series will take place in Newquay (Fistral) on Saturday 18th June with Newquay Boardriders hosting, and the third at Widemouth Bay on Sunday 26th June with Bude Waveriders. On 10th or 11th September West Cornwall Global Boarders will host the 4th event at Praa Sands and the fifth will be held over the weekend of 8/9th October with Tynemouth Surf Co.   To join the series up, we’ll be running a Finals Day in late October 2022, where the winners from each competition stop will be invited to compete.

“The key thing for me was seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces at the end,” says Phil Williams, the Junior Surf Series event co-ordinator and contest director for this event on behalf of Surfing England. “We want events like the Junior Series to help young athletes hone their competitive skills and also give an opportunity for some to begin their journey into competitive surfing.”

“We had people compete from across the country to compete, and Croyde Surf Clubhosted a brilliant start to our surf series, with other key volunteers and of course Surfing England staff. A very big thanks to our sponsors and of course Parkdene for allowing us to use the beach” adds Williams.

Co-Sponsor EOLA’s CEO Callum Hemsley, said: “The Junior Surf Series is off to a great start, and we are so proud to be sponsoring these events, giving young people the chance to showcase their skills. We are delighted that Eola can help enable the amazing opportunities Surfing England provides for training, development and competition. We cannot wait for the rest of the series.”

Surfing England hopes that the Junior Series will contribute to their wider goal of running more local surfing contests which in turn will help cultivate top-tier British surfing talent.

Carve Magazine said ‘Congratulations to all of the young surfers who made it into the top four rankings of each category. It’s certain that the future of British surfing looks bright, and we hope to see athletes like Lukas Skinner, Joshi James, Sunny Ingram and Hazel Bennett flourishing into top-tier-level competitions in the future’

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